Wednesday, 5 July 2017

opposition, appostition

Eager to instigate a conversation on what is meant by ability and disability and to what degree the senses and dexterity is hard-wired, a graduate student from New Zealand has created a prosthetic thumb that can enhance and extend one’s five-fingered capabilities.
This project is more than an academic pursuit, I think, given that the opposable pollex imparted a distinct evolutionary, manual advantage for humans. Presently, the device worn like a wrist-watch and is controlled by adjusting pressure in one’s feet—the coordination sort of like playing a musical instrument, which the extra thumb is also changing but could probably just as easily made subject to mental regulation and intention. I wonder what sort of phantom limb feelings might linger after trying out one of these prosthetics after getting accustomed to it. Be sure to check out the source link up top to see a full demonstration and more applications.